Reply To: Watch Repair guy..need a Lathe?

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david pierce
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Watchdog,
The good news is there is currently a glut of watch lathes coming out of Europe. This is due to several factors such as the European economy failing and old watchmakers getting out of the business. Many of these are the Geneva style which are fantastic for small watch parts but are too light for larger clock parts. If you purchase a used lathe you will almost certainly have to overhaul it. Many of these machines have been sitting around for years without being used and the oil becomes gummy and must be cleaned out. This will require the complete disassembly, cleaning and reassembly of the lathe. The cone bearings and spindle must be completely clean and oiled with hydraulic oil before reassembly. I have been collecting watch lathes since 1971 and currently have close to 50 of these machines. Many of these lathes were rusted out junk when I purchased them and I have spent thousands of hours restoring them to new working condition. One thing I have learned over the years is when these machines are properly set up, adjusted and lubricated they perform well regardless of their brand name. There are many excellent lathes out there that do not have the name Lorch or Boley stamped on them. If you do not have a machining background I would suggest looking at a new Sincere Lathe made in China. The same lathe is marketed under the name Vector. The Vector lathe is repackaged by Germans, comes with a wooden box and costs thousands of dollars, while the Sincere lathe costs hundreds of dollars, does not have a box and says Made In China. I bought one several years ago that came with a crosslide, and a WW collet holding tailstock for $450.00. The gear cutting unit cost an additional $245.00. If you also want to do clock parts you can always purchase a second lathe such as a Taig. This lathe is also reasonably priced, is powerful and can take a lot of abuse.
david

david pierceReply To: Watch Repair guy..need a Lathe?